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Main CPU

RD' and WR'



Address decoding

Two PALs are used to aid with address decoding (instead of the usual '138's). Changes in PAL outputs occur when the CPU's PHI2 goes low.

PAL (10H)

Pin(s) In/Out? Description
1-3 In A15-A13
4-7 In A3-A0
9 In CPU R/W'
11 In Memory Disable (not sure what the intent is for this)
12 Out R'/W (read/write flipped?). Unconfirmed.
13 Out Goes low when A0-A3 has the value of 3. Used by the other PAL as an input.
14-19 Out ROM enable lines (active low)

Memory map

Address Range Description
0x0000-0x07FF RAM #1 (unconfirmed)
0x0800-0xFFF RAM #2 (unconfirmed)
0x1000 R
0x1000 W Lower nibble appears to be used to disable laserdisc video (unconfirmed). See video PCB schematic page 14/14, around 7C. Lowest 2 bits appear to control the coin blockers (unconfirmed).
0x1001 R
0x1001 W NMI Ack'
0x1002 R
0x1003 R Read from video PCB. Bit 7 = VBLANK. Bit 6 = BLK2. It doesn't look like any other bits can be read here.
0x1004 W AM2950. Sound CPU I/O?
0x1005 R
0x1006 R MC68B50 Serial port control
0x1006 W MC68B50 Serial port control
0x1007 R MC68B50 Serial port data rx
0x1007 W MC68B50 Serial port data tx
0x4000-0x5FFF ROM5
0x6000-0x7FFF ROM4
0x8000-0x9FFF ROM3
0xA000-0xBFFF ROM2
0xC000-0xDFFF ROM1
0xE000-0xFFFF ROM0

Power supply


After inspecting the schematics and the PCB itself, the -5V rail appears to only be used by 9J (SN75188N) to be the low signal for the serial port. Therefore, it probably doesn't need much current. Substituting with -12V may work, although it might strain the capacitors.


The 16V rail appears to be used only by the audio amplifier. I did a visual inspection of the PCB to confirm this.

The audio amplifiers are MB3730 and have a max VCC voltage of 18V. It is designed to be powered by anything between 8V and 16V. So perhaps the audio amps could be powered by 12V instead of 16V and still work.

RGB output


Pin In/Out Notes
1 I Power (5V)
2 O Red, 1 kOhm to pin 1
3 I 4.5 kOhm to pin 2
4 I 3.0 kOhm to pin 2
5 I 1.5 kOhm to pin 2
6 O Green, 1 kOhm to pin 1
7 I 4.5 k Ohm to pin 6
8 I 3.0 kOhm to pin 6
9 I 1.5 kOhm to pin 6
10 O Blue, 1 kOhm to pin 1
11 I 3.0 kOhm to pin 10
12 I 1.5 kOhm to pin 11

According to an LTSpice simulation I created, red and green will have an output range of 2.25V-5V and blue will have an output range of 2.5V-5V.


NOTE: Pin 1 is tied to ground. Pins 2, 4, 6, and 8 are inputs. Pins 3 (Red), 5 (Green), 7 (Blue), and 9 (Csync) are outputs.

Pin to pin Resistance
1-3, 1-5, 1-7, 1-9 610 Ohm
2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 169 Ohm

Chromalux board

Main IC is AN511:

Sync signals

Sync Generation

Video sync signals are generated by what appears to be a custom Sony chip called the CX 773A (I couldn't find any info about this by googling for it). The chip itself is labeled as "SONY 773A 3A" with "001" at the bottom. You can find it on the Bega's Battle schematic called "DSP Control Decode" and it is at position 16K on the VDO-1 (bottom) PCB (the one with the two BNC outputs).

This custom IC takes in a 14.31818 MHZ clock and five of its output are used. Exact clock frequency is 315/22 (see )

Pin Description Notes
4 Composite Sync Active low. Typical NTSC composite sync. Nothing unusual observed.
6 SG BLK Active low. May refer to "signal block" meaning when to prevent computer generated video from going to the monitor.
8 HSYNC 2 Active low.
11 VSYNC 2 Active low.
15 SC Stands for Sub-Carrier. Matches the color burst frequency. Runs at 3.58 MHz.

Exact cycle count to derive each signal

Using the 14.318181 MHz clock (period of 22/315 uS), each output of the CX773A follows a fixed pattern.

The pattern is explained relative to Vsync2 of top field being defined as cycle count 0 (arbitrary).

NOTE: it appears that Vsync2 and Hsync2 activate a little before a new line actually starts (Csync defines when the line actually starts). Perhaps the '2' designator refers to this quirk. However, for math convenience we will say that Vsync2 is the start of a field and Hsync2 is the start of a line.


Activates (goes low) at cycle count 0. Deactivates (goes high) at 8190. Loops every 238875 cycles. 238875 * (22/315) = 16683.33 uS which is correct. (1001*1000/60)


Activates (goes low) at cycle count 0. Deactivates (goes high) at 96. Loops every 910 cycles. 910 * (22/315) = 63.5555 uS which is correct.


Normally activates (goes low) 22 cycles after Hsync2 activates. Pulses lasts for 68 cycles, which means it deactivates 6 cycles before Hsync2.

However, the vertical sync area has special rules that are slightly different for top/bottom fields.

Cx773a topField1.png

Cx773a topField2.png

Cx773a topField3.png

Cx773a bottomField0.png

Cx773a bottomField1.png

Time interval name Time interval cycles Notes
t1 22 Space between HSync2 going low and CSync going low
t2 32 Thin pulse for lines 1-3 and 7-9
t3 423 Rest of cycles representing a half line (455 cycles)
t4 387 The length of half of a horizontal line (455 cycles) minus the pulse
t5 68 Pulse duration for normal horizontal line
t6 878 Length of full horizontal line (910 cycles) minus thin pulse


Normally, activates (goes low) with Hsync2. Stays active for 152 cycles. Loops every 910 cycles.

However, this signal also activates with Vsync2. Stays active for 18354 cycles when this happens (a little more than 20 lines).

So this signal is sort of a bitwise-AND of Hsync2 and Vsync2 with longer pulse durations.

NTSC composite signal notes

Color burst is 3.58 (315/88) MHz and should last for 9 cycles. Wave shape is sine wave. Its range should be +/- 20 IRE which, if the video signal is 1Vp-p, means going from -142.857 mV to 142.857 mV . To verify, divide 20*1000/140 according to this page:

IRE for an NTSC signal can be derived by measuring voltage depth of HSYNC (or VSYNC) pulse. Said depth will be 40 IRE. The full range of the composite signal is 140 IRE.

Genlock / PLL stuff for color burst

( MC1378P and MC44144 mentioned, both out of production)

Page about color burst PLL:

Techniques for converting analog sine wave into square wave:

Spartan 3E docs that include info about clocks:

Chroma Board

Signals from VDO-1 (bottom) PCB that are sent to Chroma board

CN2 Pin from VDO-1 (bottom) PCB CN1 Pin on Chroma PCB Description
B3 2 12V
A5 3 5V
B5 3 5V
A7 9 Analog red
B7 4 DSP Sel (I assume this means whether to display laserdisc video or computer generated video)
A8 8 Analog green
B8 5 SUB PC BLKING aka BL (related to SG BLK)
A9 7 Analog blue
B9 6 csync
A10 1 Ground
B10 10 Ground

Other stuff the chroma board may use

Lock Pulse from player: According to LDP-1000A manual, this is used to superimpose graphics over the player's image. The chroma board apparently makes use of it.

LDP-2000 service manual has a lock pulse jack which may be similar and which may have the following characteristics:

TTL, active high (see page 150/313, SY-30 of LDP-2000 service manual for how I came to this conclusion). The inverse of "JUMP FIELD OUT" signal.

Size of plug is 2.5mm diameter and 14.66mm length (according to Mike Treu). So pretty non-standard.


BNC output voltage levels

BegasBattleBNCOutputs 1SC 2CSync-1.png

Sub carrier

Yellow is Sub-Carrier (color burst).

Input specs say signal may be 2V(p-p) +/- 0.5V(p-p) 75 ohm

Composite sync

Blue is composite sync. Blue averages about 2.4V high.

Input specs say signal may be 4V(p-p) +/- 1V(p-p) 75 ohm

Serial I/O


CN2 Pin from VDO-2 (top) PCB Name Notes
A2 RxD Incoming
A3 TxD Outgoing, +12V to -5V
A4 CTS Tied to A5.
A5 RTS Tied to A4
A6 DTR 12V through 1k resistor
A7 Signal ground GND
A8 Not connected

UART (17F / MC68B50P)

Pin Name Notes
2 Rx Data
3 Rx Clock Tied to 16D-12
4 Tx clock Tied to 16D-12
5 RTS' Not connected
6 Tx Data To 9J-2
7 IRQ' To main CPU IRQ (I think?)
8 CS0 To 5V
9 CS2' To 14E-9
10 CS1 To 5V? (schematic hard to read)
11 RS Tied to an address bus line
12 VCC To 5V
13 R/W' To CPU R/W' it appears
14 E (Enable) to something related to main CPU
15-22 D7-D0 Data bus
23 DCD' Tied to GND
24 CTS' Tied to GND

Logic Analyzer Notes

Data bus holds a valid writable value when CS2' is low and E is high.

Software configuration

Control set with 0x03 (E104).  Master reset of MC68B50.
Control set with 0x96 (E109).  Bit 7 - enable RX interrupt.  Bits 6:5 - RTS' = low, transmit interrupt disabled.  Bits 4:2 - 8 bits, 1 stop bit.  Bits 1:0 - divide incoming clock by 64.

Transmission speed

Surprisingly, the game communicates with the laserdisc player at 1200 bps.

You can confirm this yourself by taking the incoming clock ( 9.804 MHz ), dividing it by 128 ( 76.59 kHz ) and then dividing that again by 64 (a configuration setting on the MC68B50) to get 1.1967 kHz (about 1200 bps).

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